After the Redskins’ fourth straight loss on Sunday, Jay Gruden knows he’s on the hot seat.
With a 16-3 after a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, the Washington Redskins were atop the NFC East. But they’ve now lost four straight, with three starting quarterbacks as Alex Smith and Colt McCoy have each suffered broken legs, and Sunday’s 40-16 loss to the New York Giants was a low point as Mark Sanchez was benched for Josh Johnson. Jay Gruden will turn to Johnson as the starter in Week 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as salvaging a .500 season becomes a goal.
The Redskins have been hit by injuries across the offense this year, to the point simply fielding a healthy, reasonably capable 11 has proven challenging. That may give Gruden a mulligan, but owner Daniel Snyder may be tempted to clean house and start over with a new lead executive and head coach.
Asked if he’s concerned about his job status, Gruden was fairly open.
"My job’s in jeopardy every week, “So I’ve just got to go about and do the best I can, get these guys ready to go, and we’ll continue to do that."
In some respect, with just one playoff appearance in his first four seasons, Gruden was on the hot seat entering the season. His overall record is now 34-42-1, and the Redskins have to win two of their last three to avoid a third losing record in five seasons.
Johnson, albeit in significant garbage time trailing 40-0 when he entered the game, seemed to spark something with 240 total yards (195 passing) and two total touchdowns against the Giants. Barring an injury of his own, he is in line to start the final three games of the season for the Redskins.
Sanchez made his first start since 2015 on Sunday, while Johnson hadn’t thrown a regular season pass since 2011 before Sunday. It’s not ideal to have those kind of quarterbacks holding your future employment with a team in their hands. But it’s where Gruden is, barring a sudden change of organizational philosophy above him and a signing of Colin Kaepernick.